Along this journey called life, we have many relationships. Relationships with ourself, family, chosen family and loved ones who no matter how cross or disappointed we may be with them, we never stop caring or loving them. Have you found yourself, at some point, longing to rewind time and correct a moment, relationship or event? I know I have. But, when taking time to ponder it, every single person, heartbreak or life event has contributed to the human being I have ultimately become and learned to love. What would YOU be willing to sacrifice in order to hold on or let go of everything you love? At the end of the day, love is drawn in the form of a circle. No one knows where it begins nor if it never really ends.
Based on the novel of the same name by Robert Silverberg, Needle in a Timestack takes audiences into the lives of Nick (Leslie Odom, Jr.) and Janine (Cynthia Erivo)who are blissfully in love until her ex-boyfriend Tommy (Orlando Bloom) warps time in an effort to tear them apart by using Nick’s old girlfriend Alex (Freida Pinto).
Directed by John Ridley, who is just as unconventional in his vision as Silverberg, we’re drawn in with a single tight close up as Janine painfully states “You and I are just forever – always and always,” with a tear streaming down her face, reminding us to not regret the past as the past brings us where we need to be. Coupled with time jaunting (going through time to change outcomes of the past and future), this film makes its audience curious about what would we do if you could change or shift the past and possibly end up with no future?
Of course there are moments that slightly poke fun at this premise through a mall service called Past Protect ( a digital time capsule that protects your photos and videos from phasing). It’s kind of like Dropbox, but a mall version. Seeing Past Protect kiosks’ on every other street corner reminds one of how accessible Covid kiosk shave become since the height of the pandemic making one question their validity and result accuracies.
Needle in a Timestack is an unusual, technology infused love story wrapped in a sci-fi premise with wonderfully grounded performances from it cast and interesting though provoking direction from John Ridley. If faced with challenging your past would you run away until you run out of spaces to be in or would you turn back time for one more chance to have a different outcome. No pun intended, but only time will tell.